Strategies for Solutions
When students are first beginning to solve Measurement Division problems, they typically use direct modeling as a solution strategy. They will create sets containing the given number until they have used all of the objects to directly represent the action in the problem. Next, they will count how many sets they made to find the solution. This is called the Measurement strategy.
Partitive Division problems can also be directly modeled. Instead of determining how many groups there are, the student must find the number of objects in each group. This number is the unknown, and the typical strategy used to find the solution is Dealing - the student counts out the total number of objects and then deals them out to each of the stated groups until all of the objects are gone. S/He then counts the number of objects in each group to find the answer. This strategy is called the Partitive strategy.
As the students' mathematical understanding progresses, these direct modeling strategies are replaced by counting strategies. For Measurement Division, this typically involves skip counting. Since the number of objects in each group is unknown in Partitive Division problems, the student must use trial and error to determine what number to skip count by.
As is the case with addition, subtraction and multiplication problems, children then progress to using derived and known facts as their standard solution strategy. Using a math skills assessment before beginning instruction will help you determine what level each student is at in their mathematical understanding.